Hannah Klugman on her love for tennis
"I find playing tennis easy because I love it so much"
Hannah Klugman is a shining tennis star with a bright future. At the age of 12, she has already won the Fred Perry Championship and the 12 and under International in Auray, which was played out in front of 1,300 people. She also represented Team GB and won the Tennis Europe Winter Cup in February 2020, finishing first from a strong field of nearly 200 nations alongside Sophie Bekker and Amalia Widdowson.
Klugman is now number one in her age category in the LTA rankings. But it’s her love of tennis and her passion for the sport that has led to success. A member of Westside Tennis Club in Wimbledon, south-west London, Klugman recalls how her early tennis experiences were played out in less glamorous settings on the sidelines rather than on the court itself.
“When I went to my local club, while my sisters played, I’d make my mum go to the end court, which had no lights because there was no space. Sometimes I’d play on the side of the court when my sisters were playing.
“I used to play against my second oldest sister. When I was younger she was really good but she stopped playing.”
Although Klugman’s earliest memories of tennis were of playing informally to keep her entertained, she soon realised the joy of playing the game. It wasn’t long before Britain’s top-ranked under-12 girl’s player was impressing on the courts herself. The competitive aspect of the game is something which Klugman finds particularly engaging about tennis, but she also values the social side to the sport.
“I find it very fun and if you try it will be really fun. It’s such a competitive game if you’re really competitive it’s great to do it’s great to play with your friends and play matches. It’s also a great life skill to have as you grow older.
“I like playing matches, training and also how competitive it is and travelling and meeting new friends along the way.”
“It’s a real honour, I love it. I love playing for a team and I love supporting my teammates and travelling with them."
"At 20 I’d really love to be a Grand Slam winner.”
This competitive nature has excelled Klugman from a talented local player to representing Team GB on the international stage in Auray and steering the Team GB girl’s team to success in the Europe Winter Cup in Sunderland earlier in 2020.
“It’s a real honour, I love it. I love playing for a team and I love supporting my teammates and travelling with them. It was really hard because I had to play against others from Great Britain and played others from all the other countries.
“You’re playing against really tough players compared to the local players I play against.”
Despite playing on some of the biggest stages in world tennis in her age group, Klugman still believes the mental challenges of the game can be tough to keep in check. But it’s a challenge that is worth overcoming for that winning feeling.
“Sometimes I find controlling my emotions on the court quite difficult, really to stay positive when you’re feeling really down and not playing as you think you should be. But I find playing tennis easy because I love it so much,”
“It’s a really nice feeling when you actually win you don’t know, but when you come off it’s like, whoa I’ve just won this match and it’s really amazing and feels really great.”
Klugman’s achievements in tennis so far have put her top of the under-12 table in the official LTA rankings. However, she does not want to stop there with her sights set on both short-term and long-term achievements in tennis.
Klugman has big aspirations for the future and a win at Wimbledon, which is also her hometown, is the biggest aim of all.
“In one year I really want to win this really big under 14 tennis Europe called Tarbes. In five years I’d really like to play Junior Wimbledon or maybe even Wimbledon if I could. At 20 I’d really love to be a Grand Slam winner.”